Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote - Digital. View directions

Contact: Huw Gapper 

No. Item


Chair's introduction (9:00 - 9:10)

Paper 1 - Minutes from 8 December meeting


-          The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. No apologies had been received.

-          The Chair welcomed Daniel Hurford as an observer to the meeting. Daniel will be joining the Board’s Secretariat at the end of March as a Clerk to the Board, following a recruitment process held last autumn.

-          The Board agreed to write a letter of condolence to the First Minister.

-          The Chair gave a brief update on her recent meeting with the Senedd Commission’s Chief Executive, where they discussed the current issues being considered by the Board.

-          The Board noted that IPSA are leading on the arranging of a meeting between the  remuneration bodies of the four UK legislatures. All Board members indicated their desire to attend this meeting, subject to availability.

-          The minutes of the 8 December meeting were agreed.


Ways of Working (09:10-10:10)

Presentation on findings of Members’ engagement exercise (oral item)


Paper 2- Discussion on next steps for phases 2 and 3 of the review with timetable



-          The Board welcomed Joanna Adams, Head of Member Liaison, to the meeting and thanked her for her work in arranging the recent interviews with Members to discuss their preferred ways of working. Siwan Davies updated the Board on the Commission’s response to the themes emerging from this work. It was noted that the Commission agreed to engage and work with the Board, while respecting respective remits, to review the support for Members’ ways of working in the Seventh Senedd, as part of its planning for Senedd Reform. A formal response from the Commission to the Board’s letter regarding establishing a dialogue around planning for the Seventh Senedd, will follow.

-          The Board noted the presentation on themes emerging from the engagement with Members. The Board will now explore what changes to allowances are needed to remove barriers to support Members’ various ways of working during the remainder of the Sixth Senedd. At the same time the Board will engage with the Commission to explore how the Board and Commission may support Members’ ways of working in the Seventh Senedd, within their respective remits.


Simplification review (10:10-10:40)

Verbal update on initial ideas for the simplification review


-          Hugh Widdis, the Board lead on this review, shared initial thoughts with the Board on the scope of this review.

-          The Board noted that the options under consideration include simplifying the wording of the Determination only or a broader review of the regulatory framework for Members’ expenditure.

-          The Board agreed to discuss the scope of the review further in its meeting on 16 March.


Board Mid-Term Review of Effectiveness (11:00-12:00)

Paper 3 – Draft Mid-Term Review Report



-          The Board welcomed Gareth Watts to the meeting. Gareth presented his report on the review and recommendations for improvement.

-          The Board discussed each recommendation in turn and agreed to consider its final response to the recommendations at its meeting on 16 March. The Board agreed to publish its response to the recommendations alongside the review report, in April.

-          The Board agreed to share the report with the Senedd Commission’s Chief Executive as some recommendations arising from the review have relevance to the Commission.


Board mandated employment policies (12:30 - 13:15)

Paper 4 - Recruitment Policy


-          The Board welcomed Lowri Weatherburn (Senior Business Partner in the Members’ Business Support Team) to discuss proposed changes to the recruitment policy, which is referred to in the Determination.

-          The Board agreed any changes to the recruitment policy should be made in accordance with the Board’s strategic aim of simplifying the rules relating to Members’ allowances.

-          Hugh Widdis as the Board’s lead member on simplification will work with officials to further consider how the recruitment policy could be updated to reflect recent changes to the Determination, employment handbook and standardised contract for Members’ Support Staff.


Electric Vehicle Scheme and the Members' Pension Scheme (13:15-13:30)

Paper 5 EV and Pension Schemes


-          The Board agreed in principle to make changes to the Members’ Pension Scheme Rules to ensure Members’ pension contributions and benefits will not be reduced as a consequence of purchasing a car via the Commission’s Electric Vehicle Salary Sacrifice Scheme. The Board has written to the Pension Board to seek its views on this proposed change to the Pension Scheme Rules.

-          Members will be informed of the changes via communications on the introduction of the EV Scheme.


Update and fwp (13:30-13:45)

Paper 6 - Update and forward work programme



-          The Board noted the update paper and forward work programme.

-          The Board was updated on recruitment to new posts in the Board’s Clerking Team.

-          The Board noted a letter from a Member addressed to the Board and the Senedd Commission’s Chief Executive and agreed its response to the letter.